cabernet waltz — olive tapenade — almond meal — cocoa nib — black hole heart — reverb & sustain
Mid ruby with crimson flashes in colour. Classic cool climate Cabernet nose — cassis cedar spice. Dark plum Merlot. Lifted violets from the Franc. Seasoning notes of soft oak and salty maritime edge Palate is full bodied, softly textured. Franc brings blueberry fruit and savoury peppery tannins. Ripe Merlot brings fleshy dense dark plum and low tone earthy graphite. Cabernet Sauvignon brings terroir specific tobacco leaf, cassis, and fine sinewy tannins to the young wine.
Iridium is one of our most loved wines to grow and make here at The Boneline — vines planted 28 years ago, some of the oldest Cabernet vines in the country, tucked in to a natural amphitheatre type bend in the Waipara river that traps serious heat in our dry summers — enough to ripen these late varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot. Hand tended bunches, hand sorted in the vineyard, destemmed and soaked for up to a week pre-ferment. Hand plunged in small open top fermenters, with extended post ferment maceration — pressed off to a mix of old and new Bordeaux coopered oak, for slow maturation over 18 months. Racked twice prior to grading, blending and finishing in late Winter 2016.
warm cedar heart — cinnamon quill — red liquorice — poised tension — coastal complexity
Ruby purple with magenta hues. Fresh primary fruits of cranberry & raspberry over dried herbs and blackberry bramble. Understated oak of liquorice & char. Ripe fruit forward palate of dense plum, mocha & violets. Fine powdery tannins balance soft juicy acidity – plush.
Higher rainfall for the vineyard gave vigorous growth requiring heavier crop and leaf thinning – a small ripe crop was picked on 10 May 2017. Hand selected fruit was destemmed without crushing to retain skin and seed integrity. Cool maceration and high fermentation temperatures in small open top fermenters with gentle plunging. Pressing focussed on balanced extraction, with less new oak used in maturation. A gentle approach from the beginning to end in the winery, provided good parcels to build a Cabernet Franc both intriguing and delightful.
alluring perfume — cherry blossom — almond — winterspice — fluid silk — poise — suspense
Very bright ruby garnet with distinct crimson hues. Aromatically – striking & seductive, bright red fruits, heartwarming winter spice, almond kernel & cherry stone lift – in time revealing a darker core. Warm, soft & silken on the palate – palpable fruit depth – authoritive presence. A fine poised pinot which sings of where it is from, and those who have worked with it from vine to wine.
Vinification of this wine is still evolving as we learn to voice the sense of establishment that these old vines bring. We destem without crushing before ferment, then soak on skins for up to a week. A small portion we whole bunch ferment and work specifically to draw out aromatics & structure. Primary ferments are fairly quick, hot & hand plunged, then sit on skins for a while, aiming for extraction levels just right for each vat. Wine then matures in Burgundian coopered French oak for a year before blending & bottling unfiltered.
tropical flora — seabreeze — jalapeno — gravels — driven
Initial subtle exotic aromas of papaya, frangipani & guava – a more savoury element splices in with jalapeno pepper, creamy lees & toasty oak. In the mouth it’s bone dry, full bodied with a rich citrus & stonefruit core. A refreshing dry finish of cinnamon spice & maritime crunch.
sun drenched apple — orange blossom — honeysuckle — harvest gold — slipstream — sleek
Brilliant pale straw with lime green hues. Aromatics of ripe apple enhanced by lifted florals. Even texture building through mid palate to ripe golden delicious apple with soft edged persistence. Long textured finish winding to conclusion in clean fruity acidity.
wildflower — passionfruit — boxtree funk — mineral — flint
Eye catching pale straw yellow with green hues. Aromatically, the most striking sauvignon we have created. The fruit showcases passionfruit, elderflower & lime perfumes. On palate – crisp, fresh & dry – explodes in the mouth, leaving mid-palate weight with struck match flint & briny crunch.
Grown mainly on two blocks of our vineyard –from an upper terrace of old vines on a mix of grafted and own roots – own rooted vines providing greater band width of green to ripe flavour, while grafted vines are more uniform and provide consistent ripeness. The other block is a low riverside terrace called Hellblock where the vineroots drink from underrunning streams in the gravels, grow vigorously producing fruit with intense thiol precursors, adding passionfruit gooseberry & flint to the finished wine. This year we also added a small quantity of fruit from Block 3, which grows more like Chardonnay than Sauvignon Blanc, lends itself well to high solids barrel fermentation, adding further intensity.
We try to make Sauvignon Blanc as distinctive as our special site, utilising subtleties in processing fruit from these different blocks, differing skin contact times, enzyme use, & temperature. Different fermentation treatments, such as yeast strain, juice solid levels, nutrition regimes, fermentation rates & lees handling all provide wonderful componentry with which to blend this wine.
Luscious berry lift — rata flower — rum & raisin — sweet balsam — mocha — woven
Bright ruby crimson. Aromatically – lifted ripe summer berry – rata flower, boronia. In the mouth – soft luscious fresh fruit overlaying spicy Rum & Raisin earthiness – crème brûlée – sweet balsam – fresh fruit woven between lacy acidity & silky tannins. Autumnal loveliness.
Layered — citrus — apricot crumble — focus & drive — multifaceted & vital
Mid straw green. Aromas of citrus oil, grapefruit pith, hazlenuts, grilled nectarine, slivers of spicy lemony oak, apricot, cashew, flintstrike, creamy lees. Silky in the mouth, layered flavour & texture mid palate, salty mineral dry finish. Lees influence tightly wound through this wine, over a rainbow of bright citrus / deep stonefruit / brioche oak aromatics. A heavenly creature.
Chalky white — citrus — gorse flower — keystone acidity — brûlée
The limestone laced soils of our upper terrace sing their song through fruit intensity & tension. These Jurassic limestones are of a similar period to those prime parcels of Chablis — the Kimmerigian & Portlandian, and contain a myriad of fossilised diatomic creatures. Biological, chemical & physical parameters of these soils provide a happy balance of nutrition, water holding capacity & drainage. This fruit from 2016 came from a very comfortable growing season. It was lovely.
deep crimson magenta — pastille — violets — plum —
tobacco — cedar — graphite — maritime edge
Deep purple magenta colour. Each variety shows itself in the nose, dark chocolate / mocha & plum notes from the Merlot, smouldering tobacco, cedar & cassis from the Cabernet & violets, red-currants & graphite from the Franc. Palate shows sturdy structural tannins that cloak deep dark pastille at it’s core made slightly savoury by bay leaf, black olive & anise. Iridium ’14 shows a typical maritime edge, and with time we expect this wine to relax & reveal rue complexity from its smoky depths.
Iridium is our flagship red wine here at The Boneline – planted in 1980’s it contains some of the oldest Cabernet vines in the country, tucked in to a natural amphitheatre type bend in the Waipara river that traps serious heat in our dry summers – enough to ripen these late varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot. Hand tended bunches, hand sorted in the vineyard, destemmed and soaked for up to a week pre-ferment. Once malolactic ferment completed, wine was pressed and settled to tank before running off to 30% new Bordeaux coopered oak, for slow maturation over 15 months.
Enchanting spring blossom — apple lime soda — driving mineral crunch
Aromatics – unashamedly floral with rose, lavender, apple & citrus blossom –leading through citrus fruit, ripe red apple & crunchy mineral. Low alcohol makes this wine refreshing in the mouth – lime & soda lightness of being. Fresh lemony citrus flavours fill the midpalate while a structural acid spine adds line & length. Significant residual sugar & acid balance to provide a lovely mineral finish.
Fruit sourced from Hellblock – a riverside terrace of gravels run through with underground streams – a source of moderate vigour and healthy canopies providing shading from the searing Waipara sun. Flavour ripening is accelerated, while brix remain low – allowing the making of this crisp, refreshing & slightly Germanic style. Handpicked at lowish brix, whole bunch pressed – only free run juice is used to avoid excessive phenolic pick up from the skins, cold settled, racked clear for cool tank ferment. Neutral yeast was used to enhance varietal grape flavours, and stopped ferment when natural sugars balanced the crisp zingy acidity.
bone dry funk — flint — gravel — whetstone — toast — cream
Grown and made with complexity in mind. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed direct to barrel. High solids ferment in new and seasoned French oak. Wine retained on lees with intermittent stirring for 8—10 months. No malolactic.
Flinty oak and mineral notes lift tropical aromatics which give way to ripe lychee, melon and grapefruit. Spectrum of tropical to citrus to stonefruit — crammed full of interesting flavours, wrapped in lovely toasty oak and creamy lees underpinned by saline acidity.
Summer berries — supple soft — sunburst spice — coastal complexity
Bright purple with crimson hues – iridescent. Lifted red blue & plummy black fruit –- mulberry brambly wilderness. Savoury kelp – maritime plants. Understated oak manifests in spicy yoghurt tones. Soft succulent purple fruits, inherent spiciness, coating velvety tannins, yielding yet supporting acidity. Supple, ripe & fleshy luxe. One of the most wonderful wines we have grown – alluring & astounding.
Crisp — dry — citrus oil — lime zest — apple blossom — ethereal
Brilliant pale straw green. Aromatically speaks of the site, variety & vintage – delicate white flowers, lemon blossom & lime zest overlay current of stony minerality. Refreshingly dry with lime zest / lemon peel complexity, deeper ripe fruit in mid palate, balanced with knife edge acidity. Doughy lees influence knits fruit & acid. Upbeat & uplifting.
Aged, small, less vigorous vines on a high terrace of Glasnevin gravels – giving low cropload & concentrated ripe citrus peely fruit – combined with more vigorous lush & zesty fruit from Hellblock at river level.
Hand harvested in two separate batches, both whole bunch pressed to tank with a hint of solids adding texture & dimension to the ferments, while retaining purity & elegance. Fermented to near complete dryness, before components blended together with small amount of yeast lees to act as preservative during 10 months tank maturation.
Intense — noble rot — citrus peel — compote — toasty — vanilla bean — stonefruit — luscious
Very botrytised “fruit” handpicked in the snows of 2012. Pressed over 3 days to release small amount of intense sweet orange juice – fined & settled for several month, while we grew up a strain of yeast able to handle the severe osmotic pressure in this juice. Slow ferment over 18 months to achieve balance, then matured in 1 year old oak for another 18 months to settle & balance.
Straw gold. Complex nose with lifted waxy botrytis characters, think grapefruit marmalade, baked apple, candied pineapple, dried apricot, & lovely toasted brulee. Highly viscous slippery wine crammed with dried stone & exotic fruits, roasted hazelnut, quince & pineapple flavours. Palate has intense sweetness, yet acid to divert cloying, giving serious palate length.
Lush autumn berries — deep — dark — generous — weathered earth
Deep ruby – crimson flashes at rim. Aromatically of the Waipara region – black plum – morello cherry & spice – understated oak offers gentle earthiness. In the mouth – bountiful sweet fruit – plummy dark cherry from Dijon clones & long tapered finish from old Swiss clones.
Supple soft endearing wine made to enjoy young. Please do.
Intense — gooseberry — passionfruit — tropical — mineral — flint
Brilliant pale straw green. Aromatically striking & appealing – passionfruit, gooseberry, elderflower & grapefruit, with a ripe exotic fruit undercurrent. Gunflint from barrel fermentation & creamy yoghurt complexity from extended lees contact, knit aromatics together. Refreshingly dry, tangy, medium to full bodied & intense. Seriously concentrated flavours of passionfruit /gooseberry /grapefruit complimented with pithy tropical fruits. Lovely saline minerality pulls the fruit through the mid-palate to give a long dry satisfying finish.
Weighty soft velvet — fluid silk — plush fruit — precise — pure — perfumed — ethereal
Superbly ripe fruit handpicked in late March (on the same day as 2013 Waimanu went to bottle), destemmed without crushing into small fermenters, with a small portion of whole bunch ferment. Ambient soak for 5 – 7 days, then hand plunged through hot primary ferment and macerated on skins for a week or so post ferment. Matured for a year in Burgundian French oak – until next year’s harvest.
At bottling – ruby garnet, flushed with crimson, purple and blue. Fruit focussed aromatics of classic cool climate Pinot Noir – plum, cherry, and summer berries – wrapped in seasoned oak giving lively toasty spice. Ethereal florals, notes of cloves, nutmeg and violets – a totality of fruit, spice, oak and earth. In the mouth – cool, tight and high tensile – structural acidity, alcohol and tannins holding concentrated Pinot flavours to the core. Whole bunch process adds lovely sappy edge to the tannins, suggesting tension yet to be released. Bouyancy of the bright acidity balances the sweetness of fruit and alcohol. A wine true to this site, to the various old clones. A remarkable wine of temporal and spatial acuity.
rare metal — purple magenta — seabreeze —
cabernet sauvage — merlot plum — franc spice
Small berries are the mantra. Produced from our original plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot in roughly equal proportions. Hand picked, 100% de-stemmed without crushing and ambient soaked for 5—7 days. Hand plunged through primary ferment and macerated on skins for 2–3 weeks post ferment.
Pressed to 25% new Bordeaux coopered French oak and matured for 14 months. 100% Malolactic. Bottled with light filtration in October 2014. A wine made through perseverance and coaxing in both vineyard and winery.
Aromatically speaks of the varietal signature of the grape and the land from which it comes, the sauvage of the Cabernet, the plums of the Merlot, the perfumed spice of the Franc — alongside a distinctive sea breeze note of a semi-maritime climate. Subtle notes of cassis, mocha combine to provide understated cedary, cigar box aroma.
Palate finely focused offering sweet plummy, currant like fruit, umami undercurrent. Tannins are fine, long balanced with sweet notes of spirit and softly supporting acidity.
complex — classic — elegant — grapefruit — lemon — flint — toast — biscuit — hazelnut
Drawn from eleven different clones of Chardonnay, including some younger vines in Hell Block. Lighter fruit set from a cooler Spring, gave well set bunches of small berries. Handpicked earlier, with slatey / flinty / mineral characters, yet physiologically ripe, giving a lower final alcohol than the previous year.
Whole bunch pressed to 20% new French oak coopered specifically for Chardonnay, sequential filling giving natural complexity, each barrel fermenting with differing fractions of solids, acidity and phenolics. A small portion of skin fermentation adds further complexity. Partial malolactic, while resting on lees to retain a structural seam of natural acidity.
At bottling, brilliant green-gold of striking intensity. Aromatically – biscuit, mealy with fresh straw, tight white fruit, subtle toasty oak, and gunflint. Lithe and lively classic Waipara Chardonnay stone fruit, balanced with complexity of fermentation, clever oaking, and a smear of ripe skin phenolics in the finish. A lovely progression from the 2013 Sharkstone – a seamless textural wine that speaks more of this site than an overt varietal statement.
big sliver light — citrus fruit — ripe red apple — mineral crunch
Grown on a gravel river terrace in an amphitheatre that gets as hot as hell during summer.
Picked while the skins are fresh without any sunburn to avoid phenolic development. Whole bunch pressed and enzyme settled before tank fermenting with neutral yeast. Ferment stopped while relatively sweet (37 g/L r.s.) but balanced with bright, laser like acidity and very low pH. No malolactic, bottled early to retain freshness.
Floral aromatics, rose, lavender, apple and citrus blossom. Flavours of green/ yellow with veins of pink and blue woven through. Citrus like fruit notes — ripe red apple — crunchy mineral.
perfumed — violets — red summer fruits — cacao nib
A truly unique wine in New Zealand – from some of the oldest Cabernet Franc vines in the country, and also some of the most southerly. Planted in a natural amphitheatre on the southern banks of the Waipara River, on soils of alluvial silt loam overlying free draining gravels
This fruit was special – dark and chewy skins with coffee roast pips. Saturated crimson/purple, with flashes of magenta at the rim. Nose shows classic cool climate Cabernet Franc characters of violets, plums and warm spices- backed by dark chocolate and rose petal, with tops notes of morello cherry. In the mouth – balanced and harmonious, with lovely fruit: tannin integration. Subtle, yet fresh French oak gives a delicious liquorice tang in the finish. Sufficient acidity allows drive and energy, lending a savoury structure to balance fruit dominance.
chalky white — precise — mineral — saline — citrus
Grown on southern river terraces fresh out of the Waipara Gorge, on natural gravel mix of greywacke, mudstone, feldspar & quartz. 25 year old vines, giving very low vigour and yields, clonally picked hand harvested fruit. Whole bunch pressed, or destemmed with brief skin contact. Juice was either cold settled, or taken cloudy to tank ferment with a yeast selected to express Chardonnay terroir. Aged on fine lees for 10 months, withholding malolactic fermentation, allowing natural grape acidity to give this wine it’s bones.
faithful — punchy passionfruit — citrus — old vine depth
Grown alongside the Riesling vines in Hellblock, sharing the searing summer heat and cold Autumn nights. This is a very lively block with spring fed gravels allowing vine roots to express their unfettered character.
Handpicked, destemmed, and given extended skin contact. Clear juice cool fermented in tank with selected yeast strains in order to extract its riotous nature. Riper fruit left on lees for the Winter which adds nuances of yoghurt, linseed and fruit.
Faithful punchy passionfruit, nettle, gooseberry and boxtree sit on top of richer tropical & citrus fruit notes. Palate dry and balanced — classic savvy. Mid palate has lovely surge of flavour. Profound depth that can only come from old vines on a great site.